Rank and organization:   Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company K, 18th Infantry,
1st Infantry Division.
Place and date:   Near Eisern, Germany, 30 March 1945.
Entered service at:   Brooklyn, N.Y.
Birth:   Brooklyn, N.Y.
G.O. No.: 88,
17 October 1945.
Citation:   He was an acting platoon sergeant with Company
K, near Eisern, Germany. When his company encountered an enemy battalion
and came under heavy small-arms, machinegun, and mortar fire, the 2d Platoon
was given the mission of flanking the enemy positions while the remaining
units attacked frontally. S/Sgt. Peterson crept and crawled to a position
in the lead and motioned for the 2d Platoon to follow. A mortar shell fell
close by and severely wounded him in the legs, but, although bleeding and
suffering intense pain, he refused to withdraw and continued forward. Two
hostile machineguns went into action at close range. Braving this grazing
fire, he crawled steadily toward the guns and worked his way alone to a
shallow draw, where, despite the hail of bullets, he raised himself to
his knees and threw a grenade into the nearest machinegun nest, silencing
the weapon and killing or wounding all its crew. The second gun was immediately
turned on him, but he calmly and deliberately threw a second grenade which
rocked the position and killed all 4 Germans who occupied it. As he continued
forward he was spotted by an enemy rifleman, who shot him in the arm. Undeterred,
he crawled some 20 yards until a third machinegun opened fire on him. By
almost superhuman effort, weak from loss of blood and suffering great pain,
he again raised himself to his knees and fired a grenade from his rifle,
killing 3 of the enemy guncrew and causing the remaining one to flee. With
the first objective seized, he was being treated by the company aid man
when he observed 1 of his outpost men seriously wounded by a mortar burst.
He wrenched himself from the hands of the aid man and began to crawl forward
to assist his comrade, whom he had almost reached when he was struck and
fatally wounded by an enemy bullet. S/Sgt. Peterson, by his gallant, intrepid
actions, unrelenting fighting spirit, and outstanding initiative, silenced
3 enemy machineguns against great odds and while suffering from severe
wounds, enabling his company to advance with minimum casualties.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)